Like cars, there can also be vintage watches, which means that the watches are old and used but they have a history in the back and also are collectible and sought after by watch collectors. Depending on the brand and/or history, some vintage watches can be very difficult to find and also the prices can be very high for some models, like the Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona which was sold for 17.8 million dollars on 2017. But don’t worry not all cool vintage watches are that expensive, in reality there are some very nice vintage watches that can be very affordable considering the brand and history of the watch. I will be talking about a watch that has a very good and interesting history and also is a very cool vintage watch option for people looking to buy one, I am talking about the Seiko 6139 or “Pogue”.
Be aware that owning a vintage watch is not that simple, because they will need maintenance specially to the movement and also some can have some problems and be very delicate timepieces, therefore vintage watch collection is not for everyone.
The Firts Automatic Chronograph
The history of the Seiko 6139 is very interesting and it also has some relevance in the history of automatic watches, specifically automatic chronographs. Back in the 1960s there were three brands that released an automatic chronograph, which at that moment those were the first automatic chronographs to be released into the market. The three watches were the Zenith El Primero, the Heuer Caliber II and the Seiko 6139, the El Primero was released first in January 1969, later that year in May, the Seiko 6139 was launched and the Heuer Caliber II was launched later in August 1969.
Therefore, there is a confusion about which watch was the first automatic chronograph, and as you can see in the paragraph above, the first one to be launched was the Zenith but the El Primero was a more exclusive watch which the amount of units produced was small and limited. On the other hand, the Seiko 6139, was a mass production watch and also a much more affordable option which its target market was more to the masses in contrast with the Zenith that was more exclusive. As a result of this, people say that the Seiko was the first mass-produced automatic watch and because of that the watch had a greater reach to people and also a greater number of people were ware about the Seiko that most people consider the 6139 the first automatic chronograph watch.
The “Pogue” Name
By Dnalor 01 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31189386
When people think about the relationship between astronauts and watches, the first watch that comes to mind is the Omega Speedmaster, which was used by the astronauts on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969, but the Omega was not the only watch that made to the outer space, there are other watches like the Bulova 96B25I Moon Chronograph Watch and many others including the star of this post, the Seiko 6139 and more specific the 6139-6002.
It was in 1973, when an astronaut named William R. Pogue went to a space mission having a Seiko 6139-6002 on his wrist. The model that colonel Pogue was using had a yellow dial, which it was not the most common version of the 6139, therefore today the ones with the yellow dials are rarer and the most collectible ones. After that the 6139 line got the nickname of the “Pogue”.
The Characteristics and specifications
The bezel in a watch is something that can really add some character to the watch and also give it some style and uniqueness, that’s the case with this watch, because it has a “Pepsi” bezel which in the watch market is a bezel style that is very attractive and out of the conventional, which also gives the 6139 a little of a unique style, with 3/4 of the bezel in blue and the other 1/4 in red.
There are three different dial color options for this watch, which are blue, yellow and silver and depending on of the year of fabrication and market where it was originally offered the dials can have a mark which there are two different types of marks, “WaterProof” and “WaterResist” and also without any mark.
There is also a day/date complication, which I personally think it is the most useful complication that a watch can have and with a sub dial positioned in the six o’clock position.
It has a 40mm case, which is a very good case size for almost all wrists and which I personally think its the perfect size for a watch in general. It is not a very thin watch because of the automatic movement that it houses inside of the case but once you put it on your wrist it feels really comfortable and nice. In the inside it has a rotating inner bezel, which you can move rotating the crown and for changing the day and date you need to push the crown. The 6139 has two push buttons for the chronograph purposes, which are located in the 2 and 4 o’clock position.
Where Can It Be Found
Because the Seiko 6139 is a vintage watch and there are no new models or reissues of the model, you van only find them second hand and depending on the model, dial color, year of fabrication and the condition, the prices can vary from around 300 to the low 1000s dollars.